Friday, July 20, 2018

Baptist Cove

As another beautiful day came to close here in the village of Sveta Nedjelja, we made our way down to the water's edge for one last, very special event, before our friends leave tomorrow morning.

There is one small beach in this village, just a short walk from the marina.

You walk up and down the contour of the land, with an amazing view of the sea on your right, to get there.

And what is the event happening here at this little beach?

Two years ago when our friends were visiting us in Czech, Dave and I had the privilege of praying with their daughter, Ginger, as she put her faith in Jesus.

Today she is getting baptized here!

With Claire (who is her godmother), her family, plus Dave and I, this dear girl is publicly declaring her love and trust in Jesus, and desire to follow and serve him the rest of her life.

She waited to be baptized until she was back with us, so it's not only a very meaningful day to her but for us as well as we get to be witnesses to and participate in this significant moment!

Dave spoke first from Matthew 28, the Great Commission, telling how Jesus told us to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With a smile he told Ginger, "Today I get to do what Jesus told us to do...baptize you!"

He then talked about Peter's sermon in Acts 2 where he tells his fellow Jews to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins, and that they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

After his words to her, he led Ginger into the Adriatic and asked her if she has put her faith in Jesus Christ, to which she replied, "Yes!"

And then in front of us, and those still left on the beach, he baptized her in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I had tears in my eyes as she came up out of the water, symbolizing the washing of her sins and Jesus' resurrection from the dead which conquered sin. And when Dave hugged her right there in front of the sunset, I had to choke back more tears. This was SUCH a sweet moment in Ginger's life, one that she will never forget!

Claire came down into the water to stand with Dave and Ginger, and join her dad in praying over this precious young believer.

Claire prayed that everyone who knows her would know Jesus in her, and that she would shine his light wherever she goes.

Dave prayed Philippians 1:6 over her - that the good work God has begun in her would be brought to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, and that she would grow to be a woman who listens to the Spirit and follows his voice.

I can hardly think of a more beautiful place for Ginger to declare her love for God! As the waves gently lapped onto the shore, we took pictures with her parents to remember this significant day.

A kind Australian woman who is vacationing here and was still on the beach, observed Ginger's baptism. She nicely came over and took a few photos of the whole group to remember this day by.

Ginger's eight year old brother said we should name this place, "Baptist Cove" since his sister was baptized here! I'll probably think of it that way from now on!

We celebrated with ice cream from the pizzeria and grapes from our neighbor who happened to be down at water's edge selling chilled champagne grapes, fresh off the vine!

The Lord blessed us with so many good gifts during our time together, but none more precious than this evening's baptism! It's an evening all of us will remember for a long time.

It is our prayer that Ginger be a light for Jesus that shines before men, that all may see her good works, and glorify her Father in heaven; we pray that she will shine among her generation like stars in the sky as she firmly holds to the word of life, boasting only of Christ as she runs the race of living her life for him only.

Matthew 5:16 and Philippians 2:15-16

As the sun set one last time during our days together, we went back home and spent time thanking God for his kindness, blessings and love poured out on us during our time together.

It was a vacation we'll all remember for many years to come!

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